The DNA of God: Newly Discovered Secrets of the Shroud of Turin, Garza-Valdez

The DNA of God: Newly Discovered Secrets of the Shroud of Turin, Garza-Valdez

Anthony Cappello

THE DNA OF GOD: Newly Discovered Secrets of the Shroud of Turin by Dr Leoncio A. Garza-Valdez
(Berkeley Books, 2001, 206pp, $24.95. Available from AD Books)

More and more studies on the Shroud of Turin are questioning the radio-carbon tests of 1988 which found the Shroud to date from the period 1260 to 1390. Dr Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes, a paediatrician from San Antonio, Texas, has written another study that challenges those dates.

Unlike many who have simply rejected the radio-carbon dating, Garza-Valdes offers a reason for the unreliability of the dates. His studies demonstrate that there are millions of microbiological organisms on the shroud forming a layer which he has called a "bioplastic coating."

Having studied tape samples of threads from the Shroud under a microscopic camera, Garza-Valdes confirms that such a coating exists on the Shroud, which he had earlier discovered on ancient Mayan artefacts. Yet, his findings have encountered strong opposition, particularly from the custodians of the Shroud, including the Archbishop of Turin.

This US edition contains an additional 92 pages of appendices covering definitions and medical procedures pertaining to the study of the Shroud. What is most interesting about these sections is the explanation of the DNA found in bloodstains on the Shroud.

So the debates continue, but Garza-Valdez's studies still remain on the fringe of Sindonology (the study of the Shroud). But his research is fresh and interesting and with more technological advances. Allowing greater scope for interpretation, his study could well be ground-breaking.

Anthony Cappello works at the Thomas More Centre, Melbourne

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